I’ve had a lot of fun making this effect using Unreal Engine and Houdini! I made the texture atlas in Houdini using Billowy Smoke. I masked out the bottom and top part of the smoke to get a smokeball. I also created a normal map for the shockwave in Houdini which I edited in Photoshop. In the material editor of Unreal Engine I gave the texture an alpha mask which I can control with dynamic parameters. With this I can control the intensity of the fireball and smoke.
For the missile strike, I modeled a shell in Autodesk Maya and created a blueprint for it in Unreal. I gave it a smokey particle effect which emits in world space and thus creates the trail. All the behaviour was made in Blueprints.
Older versions of the explosion can be found on my twitter: https://twitter.com/CelinedeWijs
Many thanks to Tobias Ahlgren for the great feedback! His artstation: https://www.artstation.com/tobibi

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